Complete substrate change - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Complete substrate change

I want to change my current gravel over to Flourite for my 30 gallon. It's pretty heavily planted and overstocked. What's the best way to do this to protect the health of the fish while I do the swap? Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 08:18 PM
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My opinion, which may differ than others:
Dependent on how many plants, and how much wood/stones are in the aquaroium. This is what I do....
  1. Remove fish. Place is hospital tank.
  2. Remove half of substrate and replace with new substrate.
  3. Let settle for 24 hours.
  4. Put fish back in.
A week later, repeat. Then you will have substrate, while still maintaining good bacteria, but allows you to futz around knowing there may be a ammonia/nitrite spike and wont hurt your fish.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 02:40 AM
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I did this on my 40B. I took longer then expected and lost fish. I had them in a 5gal. Wasnt so much the bacteria thing as I transfered the filter media as I think it was the stress associated with the extended time for the transfer. Weird thing was all my neon tetras lived, 3 out of 4 of my false jullies, and the betta did ok. The two mollies and two green cories and 1 false julie didnt make it. I personally thought it would have been the other way around as the mollies and green cories were healthier looking.

Anyhow if you have another tank to throw them in while you do the change over I highly recommend it. Just my amateur input.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback and tips!

I'm starting to rethink things now. I'm not so sure I even need to replace the substrate. My tank isn't high tech so plants probably won't really get all that much more healthy. I'm going to try out some root tabs for my root feeders and see how that goes.

I'd be really bummed if I lost fish since I don't have a large enough quarantine tank and I'd hate to feel rushed.

It's probably best I stop obsessing and just save it for a brand new tank someday.

Here's a shot right now. Substrate is Caribsea Peace River. It's been in there about 3 years.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 04:09 AM
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Just wanted to add because I realized I could be misunderstood following LBLs post, I did all my substrate at once so a little different then his suggestion. In my case I didnt really have that option and what I thought I could get done in an hour or so took more like 3.
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